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Utah Supreme Court tosses lawsuit over SLC’s parking meters

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Supreme Court has rejected a lawsuit over downtown parking kiosks and whether the city unjustly collected millions of dollars in tickets.

A Salt Lake City parking enforcement officer rides by a ticketed vehicle in downtown. (Image by Pete Deluca III, FOX 13 News)

In a unanimous ruling released late Thursday, the state’s top court rejected a lawsuit filed by three people who were ticketed. However, the justices of the Utah Supreme Court also expressed concerns about the legal language printed on parking tickets.

“We are concerned by the misstatements and omissions contained in the parking ticket and the Small Claims Court Information document. The parking ticket affirmatively misleads motorists about the timeframe for challenging a parking infraction, stating that motorists have ten days to appear before a hearing officer, when, in fact, the law gives them twenty days in which to challenge a ticket,” Justice Deno Himonas wrote in the opinion.

Timothy Bivens, Michelle Reed and Anthony Arias sued Salt Lake City, alleging it did not have the authority to collect money from tickets because it switched from curbside coin-operated meters to electronic pay stations, but the city council did not update the ordinances covering it.

A man puts money into an electronic parking kiosk in downtown Salt Lake City. (FOX 13 file image)

In the ruling, the Utah Supreme Court said they had adequate notice under the Constitution to challenge a parking ticket.

“Despite these misstatements and omissions, we are nonetheless constrained to affirm the district court’s dismissal of the plaintiffs’ lawsuit. As a matter of law, the plaintiffs allegations fail to support their claim that the parking ticket and Small Claims Court Information document’s misstatements—concerning though they are—deprived them of constitutionally adequate notice,” Justice Himonas wrote. “This is fatal to their lawsuit.”

Downtown parking has been a top complaint among people in surveys. However, a series of public records requests by FOX 13 earlier this year found formal complaints have been dropping.

Read the Utah Supreme Court’s ruling here: